If you have ever purchased sprouted flour or sprouted bread from the freezer section at the grocery store, you know it is expensive! Our family typically buys a couple of loaves of organic sprouted bread a week, coming to around $8 a week on bread. To me, this is fairly pricey. So, I plan to make my own sandwich bread from the bulgur I’ve recently sprouted.
Another benefit of making bulgur is that it is available for immediate use without having to soak your flour overnight. That means when I want to make bread, cake, cookies or other goodies on a whim, I can make them without having to soak them overnight and wait til the next day to enjoy them, OR having to use unbleached white flour, which really isn’t good for us.
So what is bulgur? According to Nourishing Traditions’ instructions, bulgur is sprouted, dehydrated and coarsely ground wheat. It’s also known as cracked wheat. While tedious, bulgur is very easy to make!
What you will need:
2 quart-sized jars, with canning rings (or rubber bands)
Cheesecloth, screen or mesh; two pieces big enough to cover the jar openings and fold down on the sides for securing
6 cups organic wheat berries (I used some locally-grown wheat berries- bonus!)
Large metal cookie sheet
Grinder or high-powered blender (I use a Vitamix)
Start by putting 3 cups of wheat berries in each jar. Secure the cheesecloth over the tops with the canning rings or the rubber bands. Using filtered water, rinse the berries inside the jar, then drain the water out. Repeat this rinsing process 2-3 times a day for 3-4 days. When the berries have small white sprouts (no longer than 1/4 inch), they are ready!
Next, spread them on a cookie sheet. I made a double batch, so they did not make a very thin layer. That’s ok, I just stirred them often. Leave them overnight in a 150* oven to dehydrate. (Because my oven won’t go any lower than 170*, and I was dehydrating them during the day, I just kept an eye on them and stirred them occasionally. They took a little less time to dehydrate this way.)
Dehydrated wheat berries after sprouting.
Finally, when they are completely dehydrated, put them in your grain grinder or blender and grind them coarsely, just so they are pieced, but not ground into flour. Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer (I keep mine in the freezer because I made such a big batch and I feel it will keep better that way). When you are ready to use the bulgur as flour, finish grinding the amount you need into a fine flour. Bulgur will typically grind to one and a half times its bulk. For instance, 1/2 cup of bulgur will yield 3/4 cup of flour.
Bulgur, ready to go in the freezer!
Bulgur can be used in many different dishes, including being substituted for rice in casseroles, to make kishk (a Middle Eastern fermented dish, which can be eaten as a cold breakfast cereal), granola… there are lots of possibilities! So far, I have used my bulgur to make flour for cakes, cookies and pancakes. I’m going to tackle a sandwich bread attempt this week!